**THIS IS AN EXTENSIVE REVIEW OF THE LEGEND OF BATMAN COLLECTION. THE REVIEW DETAILS MY INITIAL THOUGHTS ON THE GRAPHIC NOVEL SET, ALONG WITH A DISCUSSION ON THE VARIOUS PROBLEMS I ENCOUNTERED OVER THE COURSE OF A YEAR AS A SUBSCRIBER.**
At the end of last year, Eaglemoss kick-started a new series of hardback graphics called DC Comics – The Legend of Batman. Similar to its long-running DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection, the ongoing series comprises a random assortment of Batman books all published on a biweekly basis.
Priced at £9.99 a pop and available through select retailers or via the Eaglemoss subscription service, each book features one Batman story – either a classic tale or a modern yarn. Over time, the collection builds into a hefty set of Bat-books covering various iconic stories from the past.
We’re now into month four/five of this particular graphic novel collection and as I’ve been on board since the start, it’s high-time I reviewed the books to tell you the pros and the cons of the set. I’m writing as a current subscriber of DC Comics – The Legend of Batman, which means my review is based on the quality of the books, as well as the delivery/customer service element that subscribers receive as part of the process – and that’s something important to note.
Is DC Comics – The Legend of Batman any good?
First up, let’s talk about the quality, DC Comics – The Legend of Batman.
If you already collect Eaglemoss’ DC Comics Graphic Novels Collection or you’ve previously collected one of the Marvel-themed sets from Hachette, then you’ll know what you’re getting for your money with this Batman series. However, for the benefit of those who have never invested in one of these sets let me start off by saying the quality of the books is excellent.
From the cover through to the back page these books are truly worth the money. £9.99 for a hardback book is great value by any stretch of the imagination, but when the books offer up great stories all printed with a beautiful finish, you know you’re onto a winner.
The pages are a joy to flick through, the stories that have been selected (so far) offer something new and the introduction at the beginning of each book keeps events in context – something very handy as the books are released in a random order. In short, if you love Batman and you’re after a set of good Batman books, then this is the set for you.
How many books are in the collection?
When the collection launched, Eaglemoss suggested the series would run for 60 issues (plus specials), however this quickly expanded to 80 issues. If the collection sells well (and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t) this series could (and probably will) continue beyond 80 issues – so bear this in mind if you’re on a tight budget. As for the specials, well this is a little less clear.
Initially, Eaglemoss presented a subscriber-only deal which offered up four additional books to accompany the series. Published at set points throughout the subscription and offered at an additional cost when taking out the subscription, these books cover the Bruce Wayne Murder/Fugitive storyline – but they’re not the only specials in the series.
Eaglemoss has now added more specials to the series, with subscribers being told they need to ‘opt-out’ if they don’t want to receive them. These specials are priced at £18.99 and are due to kick off with Batman Eternal Part 1 (arriving in early May).
I’m pretty much an ‘all-in’ kind of subscriber, so I’ve opted to receive all the specials, so long as the release schedule doesn’t get too out of hand. Heck, there’s only so much money available for these kind of purchases. That said, I’d have liked a little more warning than just an email telling me I had to opt-out.
I’ve yet to receive any of the specials – although I have been charged for Batman Eternal Part 1 – so I can’t comment on the quality of the books. However, from the promotional material that has been presented so far, they look like larger versions of the standard books so should be of the same quality.
Are the subscriber incentive gifts any good?
Ah, the subscriber gifts. If you subscribe to the DC Comics – The Legend of Batman collection you receive a number of gifts over the course of the first ten deliveries. These range from art cards and bookends to a tin mug and an embossed tin plate (no, I have no idea what an embossed tin plate is either).
The best of these gifts is arguably the free issue that you receive with your first order as this saves you some money. The remainder of the gifts are what you would expect from freebies – they’re only good if you actually want them.
At the end of the day, Eaglemoss don’t have to offer you anything free, so it’s difficult to knock the gifts subscribers receive. Let’s just say, if you’re subscribing to this collection for the gifts alone you’re subscribing for the wrong reasons.
What is Eaglemoss’ customer service like?
Ugh… this is where things get problematic. If you’ve subscribed to one of these collections and you’ve experienced no disruptions with your order then you’ll have had a great service so far. Basically, if everything runs as it should then once a month you’ll receive two books in one neat little package!
If on the other hand you’ve had a reason to contact Eaglemoss about your subscription then you’ll already know what a nightmare it is trying to get anywhere with the customer service department. Basically, pray you don’t have a problem.
Early into my subscription I experienced a problem – my books simply didn’t arrive. Money had been taken, social media posts from other subscribers confirmed that the most recent books had been published, but for whatever reason mine simply hadn’t been delivered.
No biggie, right?
Trying to get assistance from the Eaglemoss customer service dept was painful. VERY PAINFUL. In fact, to rectify my problem I had to put in multiple telephone calls, a couple of emails, a few social media posts and a few direct messages all to solve one very simple problem.
My query did get sorted eventually, but I had to really push to get anywhere and most of the answers I was being given by staff members were contradictory or just completely wrong. And that was the most frustrating thing – not one person gave me the same response and no one actually followed up the problem despite promising me they would.
If you are reading this, you’ve had a similar problem and you’ve been promised a call back, don’t wait for the call – it won’t happen. Ring them again.
I’d like to think I’ve been alone in receiving less-than-stellar service from Eaglemoss, but just take a look at the social media posts left by other subscribers and you’ll see this is a recurring problem. The customer service team just aren’t very helpful and even when you do get a reply, it is just that, a reply, not an actual answer to your question.
If I was reviewing this set purely based on the Eaglemoss customer service team I’d tell you now not to part with a penny. Thankfully (for them) I’m not and the quality of the books help to smooth over the poor customer service.
Overall is DC Comics – The Legend of Batman a good collection to buy?
In short: Yes.
As stated above, if you love Batman then this is most definitely a set worth picking up – even if you just dip in and out to get the books you want. The stories so far have ranged from The Court of Owls and Batman Reborn to The Dark Knight Returns and Faces of Death and that’s not bad going.
In terms of subscribing, well that really depends on what you want to get out of this set. If you want access to the Bruce Wayne Murderer/Fugitive specials, then subscribing is a must – there’s no escaping that fact.
If you can live without those books, then maybe find a nearby store that sells the collection and set up a standing order with them. A standing order through a store will allow you to bypass the Eaglemoss customer service department, reducing your stress levels and improving your overall enjoyment of the collection.
**UPDATE****UPDATE****UPDATE** **UPDATE****UPDATE** **UPDATE**
It’s been five months since I posted this initial review and that means I’m now a (little) bit further into my subscription.
The reason for the update to the original review? Simple – while the books have retained their high quality, the service has not improved and I’ve hit a new wrinkle.
The ‘opt-out’ specials (Batman: Eternal) have continued and at present I am awaiting the third volume. While I’ve previously stated I am an ‘all-in’ kind of subscriber, I have to admit the frequency of these specials is getting a little too much.
Each special adds around £20 extra onto my monthly subscription. That’s fine if it’s one extra book every so often, but as noted there have been three so far over the past six months – so that’s one every other month. How many more of these specials are going to be added to the subscription?
What also doesn’t help is the fact that the payment dates creep forward each month. Initially these payments were being taken mid-month, but as they work on a 28-day process, now they’re happening at the beginning of the month – not ideal if you originally timed them around a specific date (pay day etc).
And then there’s the latest problem…
In the case of this month, I’ve been charged for my next set of books, but I’ve still not received last month’s set, including the special, so that’s £60 and so far, nothing to show for it. It’s not a problem that’s specific to me either – I believe this is an issue for all subscribers.
Have Eaglemoss addressed this?
Yes, today – a good couple of days AFTER taking this month’s payment (see below)…
I’m pleased that Eaglemoss have addressed this without a prompt from me, but I feel this email is purely a response to other subscribers asking the questions I would have been asking within the next few days. Also, in the email it notes the delay is due to ‘an unexpected warehouse move’ – is there such thing? How exactly do you unexpectedly move your warehouse? Answers on a postcard, please.
What I have noticed over the course of this subscription is that the inclusion of the specials delays the books considerably. Months that include a special are always months with delays, whereas no specials usually equals no delays.
So what happens next?
With specials, I’m around 20 books into this subscription, so I feel I’ve invested enough time and money to keep it going, but Eaglemoss are not doing themselves any favours and they’re letting subscribers down – badly. At the end of the day, subscribers are the bread and butter of this collection, so we shouldn’t be paying £60 and receiving no goods – it simply isn’t right.
Let’s see what happens over the coming month as this could be make or break time for me.
**NEW UPDATE****NEW UPDATE****NEW UPDATE** **NEW UPDATE**
So, it’s roughly a month on since I updated this post and I’ve noticed this page is getting a lot of traffic. I presume the increase in readers to this page is due to the ongoing issues with Eaglemoss, so hopefully this latest update will hope you out.
Yes, the subscription service is STILL having problems.
Well, here’s the latest from me – I’ve cancelled my subscription.
I reached the point where I was no longer willing to accept the substandard service being offered by Eaglemoss – and let’s be clear, the service was beyond poor. There’s no excuse for it; subscribers are paying for books that are not being delivered on time and as such, they are paying out more than is being delivered.
You would not walk into a shop, hand over money and walk out empty handed. This is exactly what is happening with this subscription service and it’s simply not right.
So, I cancelled.
Here’s what happened leading up to & after cancelling…
Over the past month, after a couple of additional calls and emails, two of the five books I was missing finally turned up. Great – but what about the other three?
Well, according to Eaglemoss as these were separate orders the next three books would follow shortly after. This delivery would also include the last free gift (an artwork book) and the first of the premium books – Bruce Wayne: Murderer.
Great stuff – now that’s a delivery I was excited for, so I was willing to give it another week. Alas, a couple of weeks later and still no sign of the delivery.
I reached out to Eaglemoss via Instant Messenger to find out what was going on. A week later, someone came back to me with a response.
Once again, the response was vague, none committal and frankly not helpful. It certainly wasn’t worth waiting a week for the response.
Eventually, after much persistence on my part, the customer service representative who responded admitted this next set of books had still not been dispatched. This of course contradicted what I’d previously been told – not really a surprise considering the misinformation I’d been given before, but there we go.
Anyway, the rep told me that the delivery was due to be dispatched within a couple of weeks. Still no exact date and she refused to give me an exact date as she simply didn’t know.
So, this would mean the next delivery would be extremely late again and in the meantime I would be charged once more for the next set of books – putting me £60 out of pocket with still nothing to show for it. I expressed my disappointment and frustration but it was all falling on deaf ears.
I appreciate the reps can only give out so much information, but the responses being given simply aren’t good enough when the company continues to take payments without fulfilling its end of the contract – i.e. sending the books. What’s worse, the books are still reaching stores, just not subscribers.
After much contemplation, I decided enough was enough and enquired about cancelling my account. I was told I could cancel, however there was a 28 day cancellation period.
It was at this point that I did a quick Google search to ensure what I was being told by the rep was correct about the cancellation period. It wasn’t.
The following passage is taken from Eaglemoss’s terms & conditions relating to cancellations. If you’re contemplating cancelling your subscription with them, you may want to check this out:
Ending the contract because of something we have done or are going to do.
‘If you are ending a contract for a reason set out at (a) to (d) below the contract will end immediately and we will refund you in full for any products which have not been provided and you may also be entitled to compensation. The reasons are: (a) we have told you about an error in the price or description of the product you have ordered and you do not wish to proceed; (b) there is a risk that supply of the products may be significantly delayed because of events outside our control; (c) we have suspended supply of the products for technical reasons, or notify you we are going to suspend them for technical reasons, in each case for a period of more than two weeks; or (d) you have a legal right to end the contract because of something we have done wrong.’
OK, so from looking at this section of the terms & conditions, the company was in breach of clause (b) as they had openly admitted there was a delay – and it was becoming a significant one. Clause (d) was also applicable because they had done something wrong – they had failed to deliver the product within a reasonable time frame or provide a clear indication of when the books would arrive.
After pointing this out to the rep, I asked what the process would be to cancel and how long it would take to get a refund on the three issues that I had not received. Another look over the T&Cs suggested that I could cancel and receive a refund on any books NOT dispatched.
I was told by the rep I could cancel and a refund would be processed BUT the three outstanding books would still be shipped to me. They would then need to be returned (by me) to Eaglemoss.
I questioned why this would be the case, bearing in mind these books hadn’t been dispatched and I was set to cancel my account and receive a full refund? Why would they even contemplate sending me some more books?
At this point, the conversation dried up and I had to put a call into the customer service dept to take this line of questioning further. Oh, the rep had read my response, she just wasn’t replying – a common trait at Eaglemoss.
During my call I explained the situation to a different rep and they agreed to cancel the account and process a refund. The rep then explained the same situation regarding the return of the books.
Of course, I was not having this, so I had to point out that my contract was with Eaglemoss and not their distributor. If the books were still going to be sent out, despite the fact I had cancelled, that was their issue, not mine.
I do not have contact details for a third party who they have dealings with Eaglemoss, nor should I. My subscription is with them and them alone. They have email/phone details to contact the warehouse, so it is their responsibility to stop the books from being sent out – not the subscribers.
The rep was set to argue this with me, but I was not prepared to speak further about this. Common sense would suggest that as soon as the account is closed then the orders are cancelled. Even if that isn’t the case then it is down to Eaglemoss to handle this as I am no longer a customer with them.
During the call I asked for the account cancellation to be confirmed via email – which it was. That email made reference to the return of books and once again I repeated my stance on this.
The rep I had been speaking to via IM then sent me another message, once again mentioning the return of the books. So, once again, I had to reiterate the same comments that I had told the phone rep.
I was unclear on why I was still having to discuss this?! Either way, the account has been closed.
So, what is the upshot of my cancellation?
Well, firstly should I want to continue this collection (and I do) I will now need to start a standing order with a shop (WH Smith’s, Forbidden Planet etc) to obtain the other 40-60 books. I will also need to track down the three books which have been released to stores, but not to subscribers.
As for the cost, well technically I’m a little out of pocket.
When I took out this subscription I opted for the Premium service in order to get the Premium books. As such, I paid an extra £1 per book to cover the cost of the four Premium books that are released during the course of the subscription.
Effectively over the course of the first 20 books I’ve paid for the cost of the first Premium book, but now I won’t receive it. Not only that, but as I’m no longer a subscriber I will be unable to obtain these books as they’re not sold in shops.
As Eaglemoss do not refund these extra £1 increments (as stated in their T&Cs) the extra £20 is lost. I guess it has simply covered the cost of the ‘free’ gifts and nothing more.
So there we go. Shambles is not quite the word I would use to describe this service, but it’s probably the best one for now.
I now await my refund, which is around £40. Hopefully I won’t have to chase Eaglemoss for this, but we shall see.
Oh and just as a side note regarding that refund. When I requested the cancellation/refund, the rep said she would process this. I asked for confirmation of how much this would be and she informed me it would be the cost of two books. I had to remind her it was for three books. Had I not checked this, the amount being refunded would not have been correct.
If you are requesting a refund, make sure you know exactly how much the company owes you and get them to confirm this with you. If you do not then they may issue an incorrect amount.
So, has this whole experience put me off subscribing to services like this?
Since cancelling, I have heard from another subscriber that the next set of books in this Batman collection will be sent out within the next two weeks BUT that delivery will NOT include the last free gift OR the first Premium book. And guess what? Eaglemoss can’t confirm when the first Premium book will ship.
So, for those who are still subscribing, things are going to continue to be problematic.
I appreciate not all companies are like this and it’s possible that Eaglemoss experienced unexpected internal problems, but this isn’t the first time I’ve heard about constant problems with this type of service or with Eaglemoss. A quick look at Eaglemoss on Trustpilot tells you everything you need to know.
Rule of thumb: If you can buy the books in shops then do it. Buying the books in shops means you pay for the item, you take it home and you don’t have any further hassles.
**ANOTHER UPDATE****ANOTHER UPDATE****ANOTHER UPDATE**
Over the past few days, following the cancellation of my account, I have been in touch with one of the managers of Eaglemoss as part of an ongoing discussion about the service/cancellation/refund process. The manager apologised for the way the whole subscription service had been handled and reassured me my account had been cancelled and the refund had been processed.
Today (exactly five working days after cancelling my account), I checked my bank account to see if I had been refunded my outstanding balance. I had not.
I emailed the manager and sent the reps messages via instant messenger to find out what was going on, but no one was responding – something I’ve become very familiar with. Ultimately I had to put in another call to the customer services team to chase this up.
After explaining my frustration once again, the telephone rep looked at my account and confirmed that… the refund had never been processed. I could have waited another couple of days, a week or even a month and nothing would have happened as that money had gone nowhere.
I have been assured the refund is now being processed and I will receive the money within three working days. Will it happen? Who knows. I had already been assured over the phone and in writing by two members of staff that this would happen, so who can really say?
After hanging up the phone, the manager finally came back to me via email to apologise (again). Words fail me.
**FINAL UPDATE****FINAL UPDATE****FINAL UPDATE**
A couple of days on from my last update and I can happily confirm that the refund was issued. It’s such a shame that the whole process of subscribing to this book series turned into such a hassle as the books are great, but there we go.
**ANOTHER UPDATE****ANOTHER UPDATE****ANOTHER UPDATE**
Since cancelling my subscription I have tried to buy the books on the high street. After some initial success I’ve now hit a wall.
I live in central Manchester, a busy, vibrant city. We have two great comic book stores (Forbidden Planet & Travelling Man) as well as two branches of WH Smith, but finding the books in any of these stores is becoming increasingly difficult.
Over the past couple of months none of these stores have been selling the graphic novel collection. The last book that I managed to pick up with ease was issue #22.
Issues #23 – #26 were very difficult to come by and required multiple trips to branches of WH Smith outside of the city centre. I was unable to find issue #27 on sale anywhere and the same for #28.
I really wanted to stick with the books, even after the subscription debacle, but I think it’s finally time to admit defeat. I managed to get 26 books, as well as four specials, but now it’s just becoming a fruitless pursuit.
Ah well; live and learn.
I’m officially done.
I do hope this extended review has been helpful. Feel free to sound off in the comments section if you’ve had a similar experience.